5. Relying on consumer-grade products
During the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare providers have considered using consumer-grade devices, even in the acute care environment, as a means to reduce bedside visits (thereby reducing exposure risks) and to address medical device shortages and other resource limitations.
However, most consumer-grade devices have not been through the FDA’s approval process, making these devices insufficiently reliable for use in identifying situations that may require medical attention. ECRI recommends that healthcare practitioners avoid using consumer-grade devices whenever possible, particularly when monitoring critically ill patients. If such a device must be used, do so only for the necessary time and only on the condition that the clinical team knows how to use it and understands how its performance could differ from that of medical-grade equipment.